ACU created ACU Sustainability in 2011, marking the beginning of a coordinated whole-of-University approach to improving use of resources and environmental impact. Over the last two years, the unit has worked hard to shine a spotlight on sustainability, shrink ACU’s environmental footprint and raise our environmental and ecological credentials.
ACU Sustainability has three main focuses: to reduce the University’s water and energy consumption and increasing the recycling rate of daily waste. This is achieved through creating new buildings and refurbishing existing ones to maximise their efficiency and by raising staff and student awareness that we all have a part to play through our daily actions to create a sustainable future for all.
ACU is one of the most water efficient universities in Australia. That we have achieved this while undergoing a continued rate of increased growth is a credit to our Sustainability, Campus Operations and Properties Directorate teams. These teams have worked hard to make all ACU buildings as energy-efficient as possible by using less energy each day to power the same facilities. This is achieved by a combination of building energy efficiency into the core of our buildings, minimising the lighting and air-conditioning used after-hours, and encouraging staff to turn their computers off each night and shut down equipment over break periods.
ACU Sustainability conducted an energy audit in 2013 and the results highlighted that there were 100 opportunities to continue to reduce our energy consumption. ACU Sustainability and the Properties directorate plan to implement the audit findings that have the best financial and environmental business case to ensure continuing reduction of our environmental footprint.
The key to creating a sustainable future is to remember that every bit counts. No matter how big or small, all the pieces make up the whole and we all have a part to play.